Microservices promotes a structured way to develop a large application by merging a set of small independent services. It enables organizations to be more agile and allows for more scalability and productivity. Also, it offers an organization a great deal of flexibility by not restricting the development of the application to a specific technology and development approach.
The “micro” does not necessarily mean it is small, although it often is. It is just singularly focused and provides one piece of functionality effectively. A proper microservice owns its technology, data, and data model. Furthermore, a microservice is usually not dependent on any other microservice or service.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of adopting the microservices architecture in your organization.
1. Improved scalability and agility.
The architectural style of microservices empowers individual development teams to implement, debug, test, and deploy code without struggling with the requirements and schedules of other development teams.
Have you ever wondered how global organizations can ship in new updates and features very frequently without having to disrupt the entire system?
According to the phoenix project, Amazon ships new updates to their codebase 23,000 times per day without experiencing system downtime.
With the architectural style of microservices, it is easier for development teams to scale forward or backward following the requirements of a specific element. When demand increases, you only need to divert more technological or human resources to the affected microservice.
Netflix is a typical example of using microservices to overcome scalability challenges. In the last days of 2008, Netflix experienced a three-day service failure caused by an increased demand on its server. After struggling to scale the demand, Netflix decided to refactor its monolithic application into a horizontally scalable, distributed system of microservices running Amazon Web Services (AWS).
2. Support for multiple technologies.
The microservices architectural style allows the development teams to choose the right tools for the required task. The development team can utilize any programming language, development approach, and database structure for the implementation of a particular microservice without negatively affecting the functionality of other microservices. This offers more flexibility to the organization.
From Wikipedia According to a Wikipedia report, most global organizations have multiple technologies running concurrently without operational conflict. This is mainly achieved by the implementation of the microservices architecture style.
3. Improved fault isolation.
Since microservices architectural style consists of multiple microservice working concurrently, when one fails the entire system is unaffected by the failure of the service.
Note that large distributed microservices may have many dependencies. Interconnected relationships among microservices make them prone to an entire system shutdown when there is a failure in a specific microservice. Fortunately, the microservices architecture allows the prevention of cascading failures with features like a circuit breaker, which averts server resource depletion if a connecting service has to remain on hold for a failed microservice that never responds. With dedicated resources, organizations can build fault-tolerant microservice.
4. Improved Productivity.
Orchestrating tasks across a large team when developing and managing a monolithic application is challenging. All team members have to familiarize themselves with all of the application’s code, even if they only work with part of it. It’s hard to identify which parts of the application need more engineers assigned to them and which need fewer.
On the other hand, the microservices architecture style allows each independent microservice to be powered by a small and focused team responsible for the uptime of their service and ensures they select the right resources to maintain that service.
Also, the development team can create more efficient, clear, and testable code. The overall microservices architecture is easier to understand, so even a new development team can maintain or modify it quickly and with fewer mistakes.
5. Faster time to market.
The microservices architecture style, which allows pluggability, makes application development and upgrades fast. The development team can quickly build or change a microservice, then plug it into the system with less risk of operational conflicts and system outage.
Microservices architecture also supports CI/CD/CD (Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment) development philosophy. This means that you can quickly deploy the application’s core as a minimum viable product (MVP) and continuously update the application over time as other microservices are completed. It also means you can concurrently respond to security threats, debug errors, and develop new features as required.
A typical example of an organization that leveraged on this benefit of microservices architecture is Truecaller. Truecaller hit the market first as a caller ID and Spam Blocking application in 2009. But now Truecaller has become a Super Application that can perform multiple functions such as Chat, SMS, Calls, Banking, etc. This is primarily due to the effective implementation of the CI/CD/CD development philosophy, which the microservices architectural style offers.
Microservices architecture offers clear benefits and positively influences management, pushes teams towards an agile style of application delivery and helps organizations adapt quickly to changing market needs. However, it is also important to properly design and develop your microservices because a wrong design or poor development can make the architecture style less effective or needlessly complex.